The term “blended learning”, is often used to describe online or blended learning programs that combine some online components with classroom lessons. It’s important to clarify what the term “blended learning” means, so that your students will understand what they’re learning in the classroom.
What Is Blended And Online Learning?
Blended learning is the idea that most people learn in large lecture classes, rather than in much smaller courses with many smaller lessons on each topic, sometimes called online learning. Online learning encourages you to go off and build your knowledge through research in your area of interest, as opposed to being “pushed” in to learn a subject.
Part of the problem with online learning is that people have heard all sorts of horror stories about it including low retention rates, bombarded schedules, not enough students (especially because class sizes are usually too small for many teachers’ comfort levels), unorganized environments, and other problems with student studying and general academic performance. Here are some ways to turn blended learning into a positive experience for you and your learning.
Step one: Create your own class
Although there are a lot of options for online courses, the best way to prepare for blended learning is to create a study group of your own. There are numerous online classes and you can find many available across the internet and at universities and online courses. You will have to be the person you want to meet up with, get up to speed with their curriculum, and study with them each week or two. Choose someone who has a similar idea of what they want to learn, what they are interested in, and what their passions are, but you can’t tell him what to study. Be curious yourself so that you can form your own study group with them on the first day of class and go from there.
Ask each group member to help you in some way. If he doesn’t have the chance to click a keyboard or navigate an internet browser, help. If he does have access to one of these modes of transportation, help him use it in a productive way. Also ask him to help you with some assignments in your group’s class, so that you don’t have to cover for him, and you’ll both be able to learn at your own pace and share ideas for your course.
Step two: Create a plan
Once you have created your class, let everyone know what your goals are for the semester. The key to making successful blended learning is to allow each student to create their own plan and by bringing everyone in on it, you will have everyone working towards the same goals. Be conscious about what types of study or methods work best for each person in your group, and make sure that everyone understands the core goals for their class.
For some people, creating an online study group is not enough, so don’t be afraid to seek out more creative solutions. You can create a mashup class where participants contribute to different classes but make it work for everybody, or use YouTube Live, which is typically free. You can also create a Reddit Class channel on Reddit that is used for discussion on the various classes.
Step three: Set time limits
At this point, you are probably feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the idea of online learning. That is exactly the point: online learning is not easy, but if you focus on a few positive ideas and make a real plan, you will be much more successful with blended learning.
The idea is to develop a good research plan before starting your class. Decide how long you want your class to be, how many people will be in it, how often you want to take quizzes, and what activities you would like to do during the week. If you are a small class, then have everyone give their own homework to all of the participating students. Have a scheduled study time and stick to it. Learning how to do homework is a much better process than doing assignments in general.
Blended learning is an enjoyable experience, and your learning will be much smoother if you get to do it all yourself. The best thing you can do is to create a good plan and to stick to it. You’ll learn more about your subject matter, your group of students will get to know each other, and you will be more productive at school overall!